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Locating a Power Steering leak

Hello all, I drive a '98 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, 6 cyl. engine, ~130k miles. I noted a slow loss of power steering fluid a while back and, after hillbillying it for a while (money was tight, and there was a sale on gallon jugs of PS fluid), I decided to address this problem properly and fix it. I added UV indicator dye to the PS reservoir and drove around for several days, hoping to pinpoint the leak. Well, what I found was wherever the fluid is leaking from, it’s in a position to be blown by the radiator fan, turning the inside of my engine into an ultraviolet Jackson Pollock painting. (That, or I really am leaking power steering fluid from my #1 spark plug wire). Any tips on how I can pinpoint this leak?

One area to check is the pitman shaft seal.

With the engine idling, have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth while looking under the steerng gear to see if fluid leaks out of the steering gear.


Is there a PS cooler in front of the radiator? If there is no cooler the pump seal would seem the most likely leak. Run your finger behind the PS pump pulley.

Found it. i had a friend turn the wheel back and forth; as I was checking around I caught a pinhole leak on the high pressure hose angled just right to make a mess. It’s pretty small, and only visible with the wheel turned all the way, which is why I must have missed it before. I was wrong in my earlier diagnosis-it was the serpentine belt causing the spray, not the fan (sorry about that-I should really keep my theories to myself). Thanks for the tips!

Hooray for our side… Glad you found success. Just posting here obviously brought on a fit of genius…

Congratulations. While I didn’t contribute on this one, it’s always nice to read of a happy ending.

I feel kind of silly not finding the leak before posting here, given how easy it was to find once I got a buddy to turn the wheel while I looked. That said, if I hadn’t posted, I’d probably still be out there trying to hunt down that leak.